Thursday, April 9, 2020

The 3 Most Underperforming Signings In LaLiga During The 2019-20 Season

Juan Pablo Aravena in Editorial, La Liga 8 Jan 2020

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Some of the best players in the world feature in LaLiga year after year. Even with the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to join Juventus two seasons ago, Spain’s top-tier continues to showcase top talent on a weekly basis. However, there are a few players who have not been able to respond to the lofty expectations placed over their shoulders during the current term.

Without further ado, here are the three biggest underperforming new signings in LaLiga during the current 2019-20 season.

Nabil Fekir – Real Betis

Nabil Fekir joined Real Betis coming off two stellar seasons at Olympique Lyon. The attacking midfielder was close to join Liverpool months ago. However, he ended signing with Betis in what seemed a surprising decision. Los Verdiblancos were not playing in Europe this season, and it was unclear why Fekir had joined the Benito Villamarin outfit as destination considering he had more “attractive” proposals on the table.

Fast forward a few months, and Fekir still hasn’t found his foot on Spanish soil. The former France international only has four goals and one assist in 16 league appearances (15 starts) for Los Verdiblancos. He is still 26, so it’s possible he’s simply going through an adjustment period. But there’s no question there were bigger expectations around him. He hasn’t been the on-field leader Betis were expecting him to become due to his pedigree and track record.

Eden Hazard – Real Madrid

Eden Hazard was the biggest summer signing before the 2019-20 season. After all, the Belgian moved from Chelsea to Real Madrid while being a consensus Top 5 player in the world. However, he hasn’t looked like one during his first few months at Real Madrid. Between injuries and form struggles, the Belgian international has find it quite difficult to adjust to LaLiga. Although that was expected after spending several years in the English Premier League.

Hazard has been dealing with injuries of late and he couldn’t play against FC Barcelona last month. He only has one goal and one assist in eight Liga appearances (seven starts), and only one assist in five UEFA Champions League matches. Los Blancos expect him to improve as the season goes on, but injuries have prevented him from doing so. And at this point, all signs indicate we will only see Hazard’s best version as a Merengue in the 2020-21 season. The 2019-20 campaign already looks like a lost year for him.

Hector Herrera – Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid had a huge void in midfield after losing Rodrigo Hernandez to Manchester City in the summer. However, Diego Simeone acted quickly to sign Hector Herrera as his replacement. The Mexico international was coming off several successful years at FC Porto, where he became one of the best and more consistent central midfielders in Europe. But he hasn’t been able to repeat that while featuring at the Wanda Metropolitano outfit.

To date, Herrera has made 17 appearances for Atletico this season between LaLiga and the Champions League. However, he has started just 10 of those games, and he has failed to impress. He has just one goal and one assist and while that’s not his primary task, many expected him to have a bigger influence on the squad. Thomas Partey has outplayed him so far, and it doesn’t seem as if Herrera will be able to live up to the expectations before the current season comes to an end.


Juan Pablo Aravena

A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.



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